Wednesday, September 21, 2011

... we've only just begun...

.. to adjust ...

Our Preschooler
(with kelp)

L has now been going to school officially for 2 weeks, and it's been an adjustment for us all. I don't mean in any huge blowout ways, but in small ways and in realizations that our baby is now pushed out into the hard mean world (the "hard, mean world" that is Montessori school, I should note, a very different hard and mean than other parts of this world).

She's been tired out by the experience, but we're all managing. She has her breakdowns, but always has, and to be honest, I don't notice anything hugely different in either frequency or depth of breakdown. She's begun bringing home some of her work, a calendar she made (this is huge, because she's watched now for 2 years while K has brought home calendars, and finally she's got one up on the "frigidator"), a couple of books she's made of basic letters. There's been her first permission slip for her first field trip.

And then there are the moments that touch a parent's heart, even if just momentarily:

M: What's your favorite thing about school?
L: Ummm.... the book loft.
(I can see this, since she loves books and will frequently take one off and "read" it out loud to herself)
M: Oh, do you go up in the book loft?
L: No.
M: No? Why not?
L: There's no one to help me down.
M&me: :<

me: Who did you play with today?
L: No one.
me: No one?
L: No.
me: What about K? Did you play with K at recess?
L: No. She was over there and I wasn't.
me: :<

me: What did you have for snack today?
L: Nothing.
M: Nothing?
me (to M): She ate her lunch in the van on the way home.
M: You didn't eat your lunch at school?
L: No.
me&M: Why not?
L: Because.
M: What was there for snack?
L: Carrots and Veggie Bootie.
M: Did you like that?
L: Yeah.
M&me: So you ate snack?
L: No.
me: Why not?
L: Because no one tapped me.
me: No one tagged you?
K: No, not 'tagged,' it's 'tapped' Daddy.
me: Oh, because no one tagged you, L?
L: Yeah, no one tagged me.
:< :< :<

She doesn't want to have grapes at lunch because she can't open the container without spilling them, so we've been giving her pluots. But she's not even eating these, often. At least not until we pick her up.

I think fundamentally she's still getting her feet under her, and I suspect she's just hanging low, trying to figure things out. And with Montessori there's a lot to figure out. It's self-driven to a large degree, so she doesn't get told what to do every minute. Thus, she doesn't do anything.

There's also the question of how reliable our information feed is. L will tell us first one thing and then another contradictory thing. Her teacher says she's doing well and is a "joy to have in class," but she also told me that L is "one of the quiet ones" which tells me she isn't yet being her full self. Ask anyone: L "quiet?" Ha!

M reminds me that K went through the same thing, and that she adjusted to the point that now she's got initiative and confidence. L will get there as well. It's just that it takes time for her father's chest to stop aching.

And the first kid that's openly mean to her will get a bop in the face. From me!

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